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Laurel Historical Society has new leadership [Old Town]

Ann Bennett, the new executive director of Laurel Historical Society.
Ann Bennett, the new executive director of Laurel Historical Society. (Courtesy photo)

Spring made its grand entrance in Laurel with a snowstorm, but it’s not the only new arrival to Old Town.

The Laurel Historical Society appointed a new executive director, Ann Bennett, who is set to begin her position on Sunday, April 1. Bennett joins the LHS with more than 20 years of experience working in museums, education and archaeology. She will help lead the society in its work in education, exhibitions and collections and volunteer management. The LHS operates the Laurel Museum, where the exhibit “We the People: How Civic Engagement Has Shaped Laurel” runs through December.

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Bennett will have to hit the ground running. The annual LHS gala is slated for Saturday, April 28, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Double Tree by Hilton, 15101 Sweitzer Lane. This year’s theme is “The Greatest Show on Earth” and the evening features cocktails, dinner and a silent auction. Tickets are $100 for LHS members and $110 for non-members. They may be purchased online at laurelhistoricalsociety.org.

If you missed last year’s exhibition at the Laurel Museum – “Laurel’s World War 1: From Here to Over There” – there’s still a chance to view it as it is redeployed on Main Street. Panels from the exhibit will be displayed in the windows of 342 Main St., the former home of PG Office Supply, through November. The LHS worked with building owner and Laurel Board of Trade Director Joe Tredway and Board of Trade Chairman Jim Cross to bring the exhibit off site. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War on Nov. 11, 1918.

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There is another anniversary this year in Old Town, and it is a big one (or two, as the case may be). St. Mary of the Mills Catholic Church is celebrating 175 years as a parish and 125 years as a school with a gala on Saturday, April 14. The evening runs from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Msgr. Keesler Parish Center, 800 Main St. Tickets are $40 each, with tickets for guests 60 years and older at $25 each.

The gala will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts, music and dancing, and silent and live auctions. Funds raised from this semi-formal event will benefit new security doors for the church and an updated heating/cooling system for the school. Tickets are available online at gala.stmaryofthemills.org. Call the church at 301-725-3080 for questions.

The Knights of Pythias Lodge #155, led by Chancellor Commander Bernie Burke, hosted a St. Patrick’s Day dinner on March 17 that raised funds for Patrons for Peace. Old Town resident and Vice Chancellor Commander Bill Wellford reports that the traditional dinner of corned beef and cabbage attracted enough diners to contribute $500 to Patrons for Peace, which is led by Old Town resident Ruth Walls and serves homeless and mentally-ill individuals. The public is invited to join the Knights of Pythias for dinner every third Saturday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at 620 Montgomery St.

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